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Helping retailers sell more “Year Of…” plants

October 30, 2015  By Diane Blazek NGB executive director

Oct. 29, 2015, Downers Grove, IL – When it comes to consumers, garden centers and grower-retailers are focused on their ABCs – and Ds! In 2016 it’s all about the alliums, beauty in begonias, cheering for the carrot and defending the delphinium.

Let the National Garden Bureau assist you in helping your customers learn about, grow and celebrate these amazing plants through free promotional materials for its four 2016 “Year of the” programs with the resources available on the National Garden Bureau website.

Each year the National Garden Bureau (NGB), the non-profit organization that promotes gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry and its members, advances the use of the crops it has chosen for its “Year of the” program. For 2016, those crops include:


•    Annuals: Year of the Begonia.

•    Vegetables/edibles: Year of the Carrot.

•    Perennials: Year of the Delphinium.

NGB has added a fourth class for promotion for the 2016 season. This new class is:
•    Bulbs: Year of the Allium.
The National Garden Bureau Board of Directors selects crops with which consumers can be successful. Each “Year of the” crop is easy to grow, genetically diverse and include lots of new varieties – all traits that will help consumers and their gardens flourish.


To help spread the word and the use of these crops, NGB makes available free promotional materials for garden centres and nurseries. These materials range from printable fact sheets, flyers, handouts, signage and more.

Garden retailers can use these materials in store alongside the “Year of the” crops or at customer service, help desks or in educational seminars.

NGB also has downloadable photos and logos of the featured crops. These can be used in catalogs, advertisements, on websites and in other appropriate marketing materials.

Another new aspect of NGB’s “Year of the” program is a video about the edible class, produced by and starring cook, author and storyteller Jonathan Bardzik. This video can be viewed in the Year of Carrot fact sheet or on YouTube and shared by any person or company who wishes to promote gardening and cooking with carrots.


NGB began the “Year of the” programs in the early 1980s. Over that time, these programs have generated tremendous consumer and industry publicity.

To view the publicity created from past programs, visit the National Garden Bureau website and click on “Press Room.” The entire industry – breeders, brokers, seed companies, growers, nurseries and garden centres – are urged to highlight these flowers and plants when planning their 2016 marketing season.

Publicity of the 2016 “Year of the” crops to the ever-eager garden writer community began in September 2015.

Publicity direct to the consumer will begin in January 2016.

Visit the National Garden Bureau website ( to download photos, videos, flyers, fact sheets and much more. These tools will help the home garden industry promote the crops to consumers and encourage gardening with these specific classes.

For more information about this program and/or membership in National Garden Bureau, please contact Diane Blazek at

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